A former Seattle Police Chief has called for the investigation into Kurt Cobain‘s death to be re-opened. Cobain’s death in 1994 was determined to be a suicide, but many fans have long believed that the rockstar was actually murdered. This new development has come in the wake of a recent documentary film, Soaked in Bleach, which questions whether Cobain’s widow Courtney Love wasn’t involved in the death.
The 27 year-old Nirvana frontman was found dead from a gunshot wound in 1994 at his home in Seattle. Police investigators found a suicide note by his body, but a large faction of the public was never satisfied by the evidence.
“We should in fact have taken steps to study patterns involved in the behavior of key individuals who had a motive to see Kurt Cobain dead,” said Norm Stamper, who took over the Seattle police department only shortly Cobain’s death. Stamper has not pointed any fingers, but has made statements to the press that investigators should not have discounted the possibility Cobain was murdered. “If I were the Chief of Police, I would reopen this investigation.”
Stamper stepped down from the role in 2000 in order to pursue a career in writing and blogging. Ms. Love has sent warning letters to cinemas that are considering screening the documentary, demanding that they not show it. Her lawyers argue that the allegations against her are “a widely and repeatedly debunked conspiracy theory.”
The film itself is a debut docudrama from director Benjamin Slater. It has received mixed reviews from critics. One correspondent for the Hollywood Reporter wrote, “Despite a low-rent aesthetic that doesn’t sufficiently distance it from the tinfoil-hat world, Soaked presents evidence one has a hard time dismissing.”
The movie is told from the perspective of private investigator Tom Grant, who was originally hired by Courtney Love to find Cobain after he disappeared from a rehab center in Los Angeles. This story line is interwoven with re-enactments of the hours of recorded conversations between Grant and Love, as well as interviews with fans who believe Cobain was murdered.
The current department of police in Seattle do not share the concern. In 2014, with the 20th anniversary of Cobain’s death, rumors circulated that authorities had developed some rolls of film from the crime scene, and they were going to re-open the investigation. The Seattle PD denied the rumors. Soaked addresses the undeveloped film by re-enacting a scene in which Grant is told the photos will probably never be developed because they “don’t develop photos on suicides.”